Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the third annual Popblerd Grammy Awards preview. This almost didn’t happen…after the nominees were announced a month or so ago, I felt a strange burst of apathy. However, I’m a glutton for punishment. So although I think these might be the least predictable Grammys in history, I’ll be predicting (obviously) and I will most likely be watching, as well.
These last categories we’re covering are the “sexiest” Grammy categories-the ones that have the most cachet. Even though the Best New Artist award is considered by some to be a curse, the fact of the matter is that just as many legendary artists have won the award (Mariah Carey, The Beatles, CSN, Sade) as…uh…not legendary.
Anyway, these four are the prizes that will DEFINITELY be given away on air. This could mean lots of airtime for a Seattle rap duo and/or a New Zealand teenager. On with the predictions…
Record Of The Year–
“Blurred Lines”-Robin Thicke feat. Pharrell & T.I.
WILL WIN: “Royals”
SHOULD WIN: “Get Lucky”
WINNER: “Get Lucky”
Of the five songs nominated for Record of the Year, three were #1 singles. Two (“Blurred Lines” and “Royals”) were the two longest-running #1 singles of 2013. One of those two songs is shrouded in controversy for allegedly promoting rape in its lyrics and sounding a little too much like Marvin Gaye’s “Got To Give It Up.” That song won’t win the Grammy. Daft Punk could sneak in and get the prize, but I think the dual nominations for Pharrell Williams will hurt its chances. Plus, as I mentioned on the Grammy podcast, Lorde is a better fit for a Grammy win, image-wise. Although…being a teenager might hurt her. Ah hell, I don’t know. I’m gonna stick with Lorde for now, but I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if “Get Lucky” ends up winning. Sheesh. My head hurts now.
Album Of The Year-
The Blessed Unrest– Sara Bareilles
Random Access Memories-Daft Punk
Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City–Kendrick Lamar
The Heist–Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
WILL WIN: Red
SHOULD WIN: Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City
WINNER: Random Access Memories
Someone on Twitter (I wish I remembered who, because I’d properly credit them) mentioned this factoid: only three artists in Grammy history have ever won Album of The Year twice: Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder, and U2. Taylor Swift has a solid chance to join that triumverate, which, all due respect to T-Swizzle, is a pretty sad state of affairs. For the avoidance of that dubious distinction, I’m a little reticent to say with 100% certainty that she’ll win. That said: if she doesn’t, then who will? NO rap album has ever won AOTY (with asterisks for The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill & Speakerboxx/The Love Below) and even if one had the chance, Macklemore and Kendrick will cancel one another out. If Sara Bareilles wins, I’ll choke on whatever I’m eating when the announcement is made. This leaves Taylor and Daft Punk. Again, the Frenchmen could sneak in and scoop this one up, but I’m putting my money on Miss Swift for now-even though her album seems like yesterday’s news.
Song Of The Year-
“Just Give Me A Reason”-Alecia Moore (AKA P!nk), Nate Ruess, & Jeff Bhasker
“Locked Out Of Heaven”-Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine & Bruno Mars
“Roar”-Katy Perry, Lukasz Gottwald, Max Martin, Bonnie McKee & Henry Walters
“Royals”-Joel Little & Ella Yelich O’ Connor
WILL WIN: “Same Love”
SHOULD WIN: “Same Love”
This category is supposed to award lyrical excellence-a concept that flew out the window a few years ago when “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)” took this prize. I’m under the assumption that Grammy voters won’t make that same mistake twice, and the truth is that each of these five songs is fairly well-written. There are also two “statement” songs here-so ultimately, Grammy voters are deciding between anti-bling (“Royals”) and a somewhat surprising damnation of homophobia in a mainstream rap song (“Same Love.”) I don’t see how anyone could go against Macklemore & Ryan Lewis-especially in the seemingly mucho liberal, homo-friendly music world. Hmm. Maybe Eminem will be the only person voting for “Royals.”
Best New Artist-
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
WILL WIN: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
SHOULD WIN: Kendrick Lamar
WINNER: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
I would omit James Blake and Kacey Musgraves on principle because no one knows who they are, but…no one knew who Esperanza Spalding was a couple years ago, either. So I wouldn’t count either of them out. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis would certainly get the vote if it were a popularity contest, but their success has been based, somewhat, on novelty songs. A win for Kendrick Lamar would give the award a bit more artistic heft. So…who the hell knows? These Grammys have been the most difficult to pick in recent memory, and I could easily go 0 for everything here. I guess we’ll have to watch the show to find out for sure!